Penick v. Columbus Board of Education

From Ohio History Central
Revision as of 18:11, 27 April 2013 by (Talk)


The federal court case, Penick v. Columbus Board of Education, led to the desegregation of Columbus, Ohio's public schools.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Duncan ruled in Penick v. Columbus Board of Education that schools in Columbus, Ohio were segregated and that the Columbus Board of Education knowingly kept white and African-American students apart from each other by creating school boundaries that sent black students to predominantly black schools and white students to predominantly white schools. Duncan cited evidence that this policy had existed since at least 1909. The judge made his ruling on March 8, 1977.

As a result of this ruling, the Columbus Board of Education began a program of school busing to create a desegregated school district. The school system bused some white students to traditionally African-American schools and bused some black students to historically white schools. Within two years of the judge's decision, approximately one-third of Columbus Public School students rode buses to school.

This court ruling was controversial. Many parents objected to the cost of busing students miles from their homes when other schools existed nearby. Some people opposed the policy of white students attending the same schools as black students. Nevertheless, the busing of public school students for the purpose of school integration proceeded peaceably in Columbus.